The next in the updated line of Convention Books for Mage: the Ascension, Progenitors gives an updated look at the Technocracies masters of Life magics. Much like the N.W.O. and the Iteration-X, the Progenitors have been affected greatly by the Avatar Storm and as such have had to make some adjustments to survive in these modern times.
After the great impression left behind by the NWO book, I was very excited to check out the Progenitors as I knew the least about them. Thankfully the book served it’s purpose to present the new face of the Progenitors very well, and left me with a distinct need to play one the next time I ever get to join a Technocracy campaign.
Like the NWO book, Progenitors is divided into six sections, including the Prologue and the Epilogue, and an introduction to the new post-Dimensional Anomaly status quo. There’s also a section dedicated to the History, Structure and Methodologies of the Progenitor Convention and of course, the various toys and assets available to them.
I have to admit that I was quite amused with the Introduction of the book. I’m usually okay with game fiction in general but there was something about this particular one that drove home the point of how Progenitors see the reckless lack of responsibility and long-term thinking of the Traditions that just worked for me.
chapter One: Patient History gives a snapshot of the Progenitors as they are now, compared to what they were like before. An extended in-character paper talking about the Ethical History of the Progenitors was a nice touch, and I found this take a little more engaging than the one in the NWO book.
The section on how the Progenitors relate to the rest of the Technocratic Union and how they perceive the Traditions is a goldmine of plot hooks and is a refreshingly honest assessment of the good, the bad and the ugly side of working with and against the various other Mages (and supernaturals) in the Classic World of Darkness.
Chapter Two: Residency discusses the organizational structure of the Progenitors. I liked the mention of the sub-methodologies that work on less glamorous projects for the convention, including the Agronomists, who work on botany and agriculture, and the Shalihotran Society that works on veterinarian sciences. Both of these are very important to the overall picture even if they don’t necessarily bring in the usual reputation of the main Methodologies.
Each of the primary Methodologies is given screen time as well. Among them are the FACADE Engineers, the Genegineers, Pharmacopoeists, and the surprisingly “Action-scientist” non-Methodology: Applied Sciences, who have quickly become my personal favorite of the bunch.
Chapter Three: Prescriptions is a grab bag of sorts, offering some mechanical support in the form of notable NPCs, interesting places and plot hooks, Progenitor Fronts, a sample Amalgam, and the various toys ranging from Body Modifications, new Procedures and even Genegineered creatures.
The chapter finishes with a few sample characters, ranging from the usual labcoats and DNA sequencer types to more… ass kicking sorts like the Damage Control Operative.
Convention Book Progenitors is an excellent follow up to the NWO book. There’s an abundance of enthusiasm with the book, and more than it’s fair share of neat little easter eggs for some people. I had to chuckle after reading about the Clark County Forensics Department’s amazing amount of privileges, and the mention of a child genius being part of something called the Howser Project.
That said it’s a great book which provides an excellent insight to the nature of the Progenitor Convention, and is probably the best of the 3 Convention Books of the Revised Edition so far.